Wearly monuments had its humble beginning in Montpelier, Indiana, where Sam Wearly founded the company in 1899. He was born in Warren, Indiana and very early in his life, he was faced with the responsibility of supporting his mother and sisters due to the death of his father. He started to work for Mott Ware, Ware Monuments Co., in Warren and learned all phases of his trade there. In addition, he took a year off and traveled all over the United States by rail to learn from the best journeymen stonecutters in the country. He worked a month or two under these men to learn their skills and then moved on to another place. He became one of the best stonecutters in the country.
In 1899, Mr. Wearly decided to make the big move to Montpelier, Indiana to start his own company. There he met and married Mable Taylor and to that union were born five children. His three sons, Joe, Bob, and Paul followed in his footsteps and started to work at very young ages to learn the trade. The new company succeeded and gradually grew in size. Due to a serious illness of Sam Wearly, Joe was forced to take over the management of the company as a very young man. In addition the two daughters, Liz Miller and Jeane Heidersbach, worked in the business.
The first branch of Wearly Monuments was started in Hartford City when Joe negotiated the purchase of Burkhardt Monuments in 1929. Bob Wearly entered the picture in the management of the company in 1931. He took over the Hartford City branch upon his graduation from high school and continued managing the Hartford City and several other branches for several years. The second branch was established in Muncie in 1932 with the purchase of the Busch, Russell, and Geltz Co. at 404 Kilgore Avenue. This was a big move for the young company in the depths of the depression and was plagued by many problems. By hard work and frugal policies, Joe, Bob, and Liz succeeded in riding out those trying years.
Paul Wearly joined in the management on a part time basis in 1934 while he attended Ball State and Indiana University. In 1939 after his graduation from Indiana University, Paul started the third branch in Marion, Indiana. The old Milford Monument Co. was purchased and remodeled into a modern office and display.
During the years of World War II, all plans of expansion were halted. It was difficult to obtain any monuments to sell and quite a struggle to keep the company going. The company contracted with the Federal Government to move graves from the grounds of Quantico Marine Base, Camp Atterbury, etc. Over 10,000 graves were removed and re-located during this time. Following World War II, the company leadership was turned over primarily to Paul, who developed and implemented many new and modernized techniques into the production facility and sales organization. In 1972 Sam Wearly II, Paul's son stepped in as the third Wearly generation to head up the company, and continued the growth and improvement of the company. Having grown up in the business, he had also learned it from the inside out. His 24 years of leadership provided substantial growth and major improvements in technology and manufacturing.
In 1996, the current owner Brian L. Whittaker purchased the company. His training began at Amick Monument Company in 1976 as a shop helper and setting assistant for the small 2 man shop. In 1982, Wearly Monuments purchased the Amick firm, and at that point Brian moved into a sales position, working then for the Wearly organization as a sales representative until 1996.
The gradual growth of the company has continued from 1946 until the present total of 50 displays in three states. We are now one of the largest retail monument firms in the United States based on total sales volume. The production facilities have also kept pace with the growth from the very small plant in Montpelier, through several additions and renovations of our current facility.
Fair and honest dealings for over 100 years have been responsible for the success of Wearly Monuments. The company is built on a solid foundation established by Sam Wearly in 1899. Our company policy is and has always been to furnish the highest quality memorials for the lowest possible prices. Our Gold Bond Guarantee backs every memorial we produce, and service is of the utmost importance.